From the Pastor
As this newsletter goes to press, the date is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the holy season of Lent. Throughout the month of March, we are in Lent. As the opening liturgy for Ash Wednesday reminds us, “From ancient times the season of Lent has been kept as a time of special devotion, self-denial, and humble repentance born of a faithful heart that dwells confidently on His Word and draws from it life and hope. Let us pray that our dear Father in heaven, for the sake of His beloved Son and in the power of His Holy Spirit, might richly bless this Lententide for us so that we may come to Easter with glad hearts and keep the feast in sincerity and truth.”
God’s Law found in His Word is constantly reminding us that we are poor, miserable sinners. One of the functions of God’s Law is to act like a mirror, showing us our sins so that we might realize who we are and what our spiritual condition is truly like apart from the forgiveness of Jesus Christ, our Savior. As we compare our lives against the Ten Commandments, we quickly realize just how far short we have fallen. We do not always fear, love, and trust in God above all things. We do not always love and help our neighbors. We swear, ignore God’s Word, dishonor authorities, lie, covet, gossip, and so on. God’s Law helps us to see our sins. It forces each of us to admit “I am a sinner and deserve God’s punishment.” God’s Law forces us to our knees in sorrow over our sins asking, “Who will deliver me from this body of death?” (Romans 7:24b)
As God’s Word in the Bible shows us our sins, so it also gives us our only Savior from sin and death, Jesus Christ. The Gospel, the Good News that Jesus came into the world to save sinners by dying on a cross and rising again from the dead, empowers us to repent of our sins. Repentance is more than simply mouthing the words, “I’m sorry.” Repentance is truly being sorry for your sins while at the same time trusting by faith alone in Jesus Christ alone as your Savior, knowing that He forgives and restores you while giving you His Holy Spirit so that you turn away from sin to walk in His ways.
It is the Gospel that gives you this trust and the power to confess your sins before the throne of God’s grace and the assurance that in Jesus Christ your sins are forgiven!
May your Lent be a time of special devotion, self-denial, and humble repentance born of a faithful heart that dwells confidently on God’s Word and draws from it life and hope—the life and hope that come from knowing Jesus Christ by faith.